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Océ: Integrated network helps speed print giant to top spotEnquire now
The BT IP Connect global network with 24*7 service management helps Océ improve efficiency and business continuity
Océ has set its sights on winning the world number one position in printing and document management. But in its European heartland, Corry Wouters knew a legacy multi-vendor legacy WAN infrastructure might hamper progress.
For him, the ideal would be a single network provider with a strong presence not just Europe-wide but worldwide. He found the right partner in BT. Today, BT IP Connect links Océ people at 80 locations across 20 countries, with round-the-clock support everywhere. Speeds are up and costs are down. And Corry can be sure the network won’t hold his company back.
As a global player, we need a fast and reliable wide area network to enable our operating companies worldwide to function cohesively through an integrated supply chain.”
- Corry Wouters, Vice President ICT Operations Océ
Océ is one of the world’s leading providers of professional printing and document management solutions including high speed digital production printers, wide format printing systems for both technical documentation and colour display graphics, and document management outsourcing. Océ has its corporate headquarters at Venlo, in The Netherlands. Active in approximately 100 countries, it employs some 22,000 people worldwide.
Canon has recently acquired around 90 per cent of the issued share capital of Océ and the new and compelling combination is well on the way to become the world number one in the printing industry. However, Corry Wouters, Vice President for ICT Operations at Océ, foresaw a problem. His company’s wide area network (WAN) was based largely on legacy technology sourced from local in-country service providers. This arrangement was lacking in bandwidth and flexibility, offering only point-to-point connections. It was also getting expensive to manage and administer.
With implementation of a new SAP application planned across the company, Océ decided to reassess its WAN requirements. Corry Wouters says: “Our primary objectives were to increase bandwidth, reduce cost, and improve network resilience and flexibility – while working with a single European supplier.”
Proposals from several different service providers were considered. Corry Wouters explains the choice of BT: “Not only having local presence here in Europe, BT also had the capability to support our operations globally. Furthermore, it was able to provide us with solid customer references that backed up its claims.
In a four-year contract, BT is providing managed WAN services for Océ based on its IP Connect global platform. Providing connectivity at a wide range of speeds, this serves 80 locations in 20 countries. MPLS-based BT IP Connect enables different traffic types to share a single converged network and allows critical traffic such as voice and video to be prioritised over less time sensitive data such as email and web.
In Europe, the network interconnects Océ facilities in Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain and the UK. Globally the BT network offers connectivity to manufacturing, sales and marketing facilities in Brazil, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand. For cost efficiency a few of the smaller sites, such as those in Poland and Bulgaria, are interconnected over the internet using BT IPSec encryption technology.
Supporting business critical applications such as ERP, email, intranet and web, the BT IP Connect global network also runs desktop video conferencing. A migration to IP telephony has started initially in Germany, Spain, and The Netherlands.
BT proactively monitors the network from its global service centres on a 24*7 basis, while comprehensive service level agreements (SLAs) assure speed of response. For example, the SLA for business affecting issues features a service restoration promise of two business hours. A seamless single point of contact provides telephone help desk support whenever and wherever required.
“The BT network is at the heart of our business,” says Corry Wouters. “Our business continuity is therefore reliant upon the integrity of that platform and upon the BT service surrounding it.”
The BT IP Connect network provides much higher bandwidth, improving business application response times and accelerating online access for greater productivity. Moreover, with any-to-any connectivity replacing the former point-to-point arrangements, network resilience has been significantly improved. Operating expenditure has been reduced too.
“We were saving compared to our previous network costs,” confirms Corry Wouters, “and because we have consolidated our network with a single supplier we are saving even more through efficient management and administration.”
The implementation of IP telephony over the converged MPLS-based network is enabling further financial savings with the cancellation of private circuits once dedicated to carrying voice services between Océ sites. Those savings will increase as the IP telephony implementation is extended to other countries. Service management has been greatly simplified and service levels are higher too.
Corry Wouters concludes: “Anyone with a network of this size and complexity will have occasional outages, but BT normally solves problems within the stipulated SLA so overall we are very satisfied with the service. Michiel de Jong, our BT account director, is also very proactive and responsive to our requirements.”
- BT IP Connect global